Update on Beginning of Gentr in Zanzibar and Kangemi
The Ben Bela girls in Zanzibar are off to a great start. They had some technological difficulties at first, with their speakers not working. To solve the problem, one student would repeat in English what was said in a video and another would translate it into Swahili, reinforcing the students' understanding of the material. Aside from videos, they have been working through PowerPoints, presented by the business teacher, Mr. Abdulla, as well as some individual reading materials.
The girls are also working with some local mentors from EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar, a global youth-focused project centered on entrepreneurship and employment. The mentors sit in on the weekly sessions and provide guidance, support, and feedback as the girls develop their business ideas. After attending one of the first few sessions, one mentor remarked, "I was impressed with the way the girls processed the high level information despite their young age. They grasped the essence of the session and were able to look around their immediate environment to identify needs and provide solutions."
One group of girls came up with the idea to create a small business to serve snacks outside of the school cafeteria, as they found that many students who stay for extracurricular activities after school often get hungry. Another group proposed a safe, reliable transportation service for the many students who have trouble being on time for school.
At Petals High School in Kangemi, Kenya, one group of students is exploring buying flour in bulk, transporting it all at once (to reduce transportation costs), and distributing it for lower prices, while making a profit. Some other girls are looking into setting up a service for renting a tablet with the added value of lessons on how to use the internet, set up email accounts, etc.
These are just a few of the ideas the girls are coming up with; they have exhibited great enthusiasm and passion so far and are already starting to adopt new perspectives and attitudes towards business.